Alhamdulillah!! Muslims have celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, on Sunday 19th August 2012.
In Europe the UK, France and Germany eid prayers have been offered. Gulf countries including United Arab Emirates (UAE), Iran, Syria, Palestine, Libya, Jordan, Qatar and Yemen. United States, Canada, Maxico, Brazil and Far-East countries Philippine, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore also celebrated Eid and offered Eid prayers. The Eid was also marked in Nigeria, Libya, Somalia, Egypt and other African countries.
Indian and Bangladeshi Muslims will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitar on Monday.
In Arabic Eid means “festival,” and Fitr means “breaking the fast,” so Eid ul-Fitr is literally a festival for breaking the fast.
The Quran mentions that, Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast (eid) for us, for the first of us and for the last of us and a sign from You. Give us sustenance, for You are the Best of Sustainers. (Quran, 5: 114)
The Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan out of faith, seeking its reward, shall have all their past sins forgiven. [Also reported by Bukhari in his Sahih, and others]
After the intense religious introspection and fasting of Ramadan, EID-UL-FITR is celebrated on the first day of Shaw’waal, at the completion of Ramadan. Shaw’waal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. The Eid-al-Fitr is a very joyous day; it is a true Thanksgiving Day. On this day Muslims show their real joy for the health, strength and the opportunities of life, which Allah has given to them to fulfill their obligation of fasting and other good deeds during the blessed month of Ramadan. It’s meant to be a recognition of the material and spiritual favors of God to His creation.
Muslims have obligations to support the needy to allow them to be able to join in the celebrations by giving charity: Zakatul-Fitr is due before Eid Prayer
Anas (ra), a companion of prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) reported that when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Makkah to Madinah, the people of Madinah used to have two festivals. On those two days they had carnivals and festivity. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) asked the Ansaar (the Muslims of Madinah) about it. They replied that before Islam they used to have carnivals on those two joyous days. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) told them: ‘Instead of those two days, Allah has appointed two other days which are better, the days of Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.’ (Hadith)
Structure of Eid prayer: Eid prayer is wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory). It consists of two Rakaat (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs. It must be offered in congregation. The prayer is followed by the Khutbah.
The Khutbah is part of the worship and listening to it is Sunnah. During the Khutbah, the Imam must remind the community about its responsibilities and obligations towards Allah, fellow Muslims and the fellow human beings. The Imam must encourage the Muslims to do good and ward off evil. The Muslim community must also be directed to the state of the community and the Ummah at large and the feelings of sacrifice and Jihaad should be aroused in the community. At the conclusion of the prayer the Muslims should convey greetings to each other, give gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes. Muslims should also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslims neighbors, co-workers, classmates and business acquaintances to Eid festivities to show Islam and Muslim culture.
Sunnah of Eid
- Wake up early.
- Prepare for personal cleanliness, take care of details of clothing, etc.
- Take a Ghusl (bath) after Fajr.
- Brush your teeth.
- Dress up, putting on best clothes available, whether new or cleaned old ones.
- Use perfume (men only).
- Have breakfast on Eid-al-Fitr before leaving for prayer ground. On Eid-al-Adha, eat breakfast after Salaat or after sacrifice if you are doing a sacrifice.
- Pay Zakaat-al-Fitr before Salaat-al-Eid (on Eid-al-Fitr).
- Go to prayer ground early.
- Offer Salaat-al-Eid in congregation in an open place except when whether is not permitting like rain, snow, etc.
- Use two separate route to and from the prayer ground.
- Recite the following Takbir on the way to Salaat and until the beginning of Salaat-al-Eid:
Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. La ila-ha ill-lal-lah. Allaho-Akber, Allaho-Akber. Wa-lilahill hamd.
(Allah is great, Allah is great. There is no god but Allah. Allah is great, Allah is great. And all praises are for Allah).
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